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Old 05-22-08, 01:31 PM   #1
Briareos
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Downtube Shifters Good For Race-Training?

Right now my RSX brifters have started to complain and may have to replace them with DT shifters. This is an obvious and massive change, will it radically change how often I shift and think harder about doing it at all? I see the advantages of that because in a few group rides I remember hearing countless number of shifts and I'm certain many of them were unnecessary.

My biggest concern is reaching down to shift, that'll getting ome used to.
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Old 05-22-08, 01:38 PM   #2
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Right now my RSX brifters have started to complain and may have to replace them with DT shifters. This is an obvious and massive change, will it radically change how often I shift and think harder about doing it at all? I see the advantages of that because in a few group rides I remember hearing countless number of shifts and I'm certain many of them were unnecessary.

My biggest concern is reaching down to shift, that'll getting ome used to.
I raced in a 50 racer cat5 field with DT shifters without much issue. It works. Even tho it is more comfortable to have both hands on the handlebar when things get a little iffy.
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Old 05-22-08, 01:40 PM   #3
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Any thought to bar-ends?
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Old 05-22-08, 02:01 PM   #4
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I see the advantages of that because in a few group rides I remember hearing countless number of shifts and I'm certain many of them were unnecessary.

.
You can obviously race with DT shifters. People did it for years. I finished 2nd in a training race a couple of years ago on an old steel Paramount with D/T shifters.


However, there's no advantage to it. And you're not going to get any advantage by eliminating "unecessary shifts".

The advantage of STI is its so easy to shift, you can always be in the right gear, which will save you energy. (such as dwonshifting just before a sharp curve where the group will slow.) With D/T shifters, people have a tendency just to pound out little accelerations in too high of a gear. Not a huge issue, but definitely not an advantage.
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Old 05-22-08, 02:23 PM   #5
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1+

If there is no cost to shifting, then there is no such thing as an "unnecessary shift". With DT shifters, however, there is certainly a cost to shifting, so there is such a thing as an "unnecessary shift".
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Old 05-22-08, 03:22 PM   #6
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However, there's no advantage to it.
This is not entirely true. There is a weight advantage to downtube shifters. And some of us old guys still can do a one-handed shift of the front and a simultaneous multiple cog shift on the back with DT. With STI to do the same thing it is like I am playing the castanets.

That being said, I would rather race with a modern setup. Shifting is so much easier, especially when out of the saddle.

I did find out the hard way that somethings don't change. Being a Floridian I "live" in the big ring so I rarely need to shift to the little one. A couple of weeks ago I went to north Georgia and rode the (in)famous 6 Gaps. When climbing Jack's Gap I needed to shift to the small ring and I did it under power. I dropped my chain.
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Old 05-22-08, 03:28 PM   #7
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It is true they're lighter. I wasn't even thinking about weight. However, as a practical matter a modern bike set up with STI is going to be a lot lighter than a traditonal bike with D/T shifters because everything else will be lighter.
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Old 05-22-08, 03:45 PM   #8
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Try flushing out the RSX'es with silicone spray lube or WD-40 or Boeshield or whatever before you do anything drastic.
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Old 05-22-08, 05:57 PM   #9
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+1 for the bar ends.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:21 PM   #10
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This is not entirely true. There is a weight advantage to downtube shifters. And some of us old guys still can do a one-handed shift of the front and a simultaneous multiple cog shift on the back with DT. With STI to do the same thing it is like I am playing the castanets.
Dead easy to do with Ergopower The other nice thing about down tube shifters is the sweet feel of friction shifters.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:24 PM   #11
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Back in the day it took some skill to do a double shift, one handed, precisely, withdown tube friction shifters. Now any dolt can do it.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:57 PM   #12
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Back in the day it took some skill to do a double shift, one handed, precisely, withdown tube friction shifters. Now any dolt can do it.
How do you do it with one handed with STI?
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Old 05-22-08, 08:22 PM   #13
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Back in the day it took some skill to do a double shift, one handed, precisely, withdown tube friction shifters.
I practiced and practiced until I could do that double shift perfectly every time. My shifts were lightning fast and quiet too. It's been many years and I still sometimes find my hand reaching for the downtube when I want to change gears.

But shifters built into the brake levers are so much better. I wouldn't even consider down tube shifters. I don't care how much lighter they are.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:23 PM   #14
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How do you do it with one handed with STI?
got to be really quick, or have extremely long fingers
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Old 05-22-08, 09:15 PM   #15
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DT shifters are no disadvantage in group rides - been there, done that. They would be a minor disadvantage in road races, but still not a big deal unless you're contesting the finishing sprint. If you're an FTP kind of guy, or a climber, no big deal, you're either finishing solo, sprinting with a small group or not a factor. In crits, you would be a pretty significant disadvantage. I have DT shifters mounted on Kelly Take-Offs, devices that place them just inboard of my brake levers. They are a lot faster to get to than regular DT shifters, but I do notice that they are just a little bit tricky to deal with in crits when I need a downshift NOW.

Being comfortable enough in a range of cadences to respond even when you're in the "wrong" gear is a good skill to have, but it's not a disadvantage that I would deliberately cultivate. I don't have my quirky set-up because I prefer it, I have it because I could afford it. A new bike with integrated shifting is definitely on the menu if the stars align and the money is there.

If you can't fix your problems with some WD-40 or something, and you can't afford new brifters, DT shifters with Kelly Take-Offs or bar-end shifters are the way to go. Downtube shifters are sweet for recreational riding, but I wouldn't race with them if I had a choice.
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Old 05-22-08, 09:38 PM   #16
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Since you're asking, yes it will make a difference. Shifting won't be instinctive. RSX isn't that expensive. Check for pricing and just replace what's broken. Or ask a mechanic to help fix what's wrong. Your description of the problem is vague
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Old 05-24-08, 03:50 PM   #17
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Why , I remember waaay back when, many years ago ...........................
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